Over Memorial Day Weekend, the Great Lakes get their first official burst of summer. Stores and restaurants of coastal towns extend their hours and see the first long lines of the season. The beaches and bays fill with laughter and people and boats. Not much compares to summertime on the Great Lakes.
I headed up to the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the guys for a few days to get away from those crowds. It was great to see the expanse of Lake Superior on the drive up. Our group made a firm commitment to set aside the time to simply enjoy being in the woods and appreciating the beauty of the forest and lakes and bugs. Some things are easier to appreciate than others.
The water is something I am used to. Whether a vast bay or a constant stream from the tap, it is always within reach. The third night in the Porkies, we camped on a ridgeline where there were fewer bugs and no water source. For those unaccustomed to backpacking or unaccustomed to being without a water source, I don’t recommend doing both at the same time. Some of us had sweat out more than our average daily intake of water that day. Most of the water we carried to the campsite was slurped up early that night, and we left promptly and thirstily in the morning.
It reminded me that FLOW recently signed up to participate in Imagine a Day Without Water 2018, a day to spread awareness on the value of water. It is a simple concept, but very challenging to imagine a day without water. It is such an essential part of everything that we do. It reminded me of the work I do every day, of the tremendous value of water and its understated significance. Without water, all of humanity would quickly wither away.
By the time our hiking group had made it down to the lake in the valley, all we could think about was water – admiring it, swimming in it, drinking it in. I took off my pack and waded right in, like I have seen my dog do on so many hikes. I stood there panting, happy to have found relief. We spent the rest of the day in the water, swimming and soaking and admiring its simple splendor.